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Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Last Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday of 2013!

Hi faithful readers! If you are wondering about how I am doing, you'll be glad to know that I am feeling a little bit better. It has been almost 48 hours since my last crying jag! Last night I actually somewhat enjoyed myself while going shopping with my mom, although I had to keep reminding myself, "It is okay. Look, you're having fun! You're shopping with your mom! This is nice! Everything is fine!" Right now it is more of a fear of feeling sad... like when you break a bone, and it is starting to heal so it doesn't hurt all the time anymore, but you are still nervous about putting pressure on it because when it does hurt it is excruciating! 

I am so full of metaphors.

Anyways...

You may have noticed that it is Mix Tape Tuesday again, as well as New Year's Eve! Jen Kehl has suggested that we share our favorite mix tape of the year. Well. I have only done Mix Tapes for a few weeks, so I've decided to share my one favorite song from my past five entries (excluding the Christmas songs edition, because thinking about Christmas is making me sad lately.)

The very first Mix Tape I ever participated in was during a week when we were asked to share songs that had a spiritual meaning to us. One of the ones I chose was "Ripple," by the Grateful Dead. I have loved this song since my brother first introduced it to me back in 2000. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite songs.



The next week was close to Halloween, so we were asked to share Halloween-type songs. Having become a recent Vampire Weekend fan, I chose to include one of their songs... partly because the band's name has Vampire in it, which is Halloween-related, and also because the video has a few creepy moments in it. Here it is again... Oxford Comma! (Don't watch this video if you have children in the room with you and you don't want them to hear the "F" word.)



The next week, we were allowed to choose any topic we wanted. I decided to choose the topic of angels, to go along with my name! Of the five that I chose, my favorite would have to be "Pretty Little Angel Eyes." It is just a fun, upbeat song that makes you want to dance!



A week after that, the theme for us all was "cheating." The song I found most amusing on my list was "Silhouettes"  by Hermann's Hermits. If you listen to the words closely, you'll find that the song is a story with a narrator who is kind of an asshole with an anger management problem. Give it a try!



The next week was for Christmas songs, but I am skipping that list because Christmas songs make me sad now. But the week after that was about addiction... sort of. It is hard for me to choose one song from that list, because I really like them all! But how about we listen to "The Mighty Quinn" one more time? (THe version I posted was by Manfred Man, but I think it was originally written by Bob Dylan, and the Grateful Dead also did a version of it. Research those on your own if you want!)


And that concludes the year of 2013!See you next year, Twisted Mix Tapers!





Monday, December 30, 2013

A Good Explanation Of Depression

A rare moment of happiness while looking out the window
of the Sears Tower! 
Hi everyone! I know a lot of my last few posts have been pretty gloomy. I am sure things will start looking up any day now, right?

I've pretty much realized that my sadness has crossed over into actual depression... not just the sort of mild depression before, but a serious episode. I've mentioned before that I have been off my antidepressant medication since October and had been considering staying off them, seeing if I could do it on my own. And I've discovered... probably not! Although things like support groups and art therapy may help me gain coping skills, I cannot control the chemicals in my brain.

I've decided my depression issue is a little like this... there is a button in your brain somewhere, and when something sad happens, the button gets pushed and all the sadness juice fills up your body. For most people in most situations, the sadness juice starts clearing up right away, and things like being with friends or getting back into a normal routine help get that sadness juice out of their system. For me, the button gets stuck pushed in, releasing more and more sadness juice, so even when I try to do things that should make me happy, the sad feelings keep coming back.

Here's an example. I was feeling so sad about Bro and Sunny and Squeak leaving. That is normal. Even though I display my sadness differently than my other family members, it was normal to be sad. I did get some temporary relief by going out to breakfast and then going shopping with my parents that morning, but the sadness juice kept pouring in and pouring in.

On Saturday my mom and I had something really fun planned. We went to the city with my Aunt B and two of my little cousins. We walked around the city and saw the lights, went inside Marshall Fields, and went to the Sears Tower, which I can never manage to call the Willis Tower because that just sounds stupid to me for some reason. We stayed overnight in a hotel. It was a lot of fun! And I was able to enjoy it a little bit... but that sadness juice kept leaking in more and more.

When I am taking my meds, a fun time like this would have really distracted me and helped me bounce back. I would have had a lot of fun, and came back smiling. But it didn't work.

On Sunday, while still with my aunt and the kids, we went shopping at IKEA, which is a store I enjoy. But by the time we were there, the sadness juice was starting to flood my whole system, and I could barely keep it together! I couldn't focus or enjoy myself at all. I had to focus on not crying. When we stopped and got something to eat (and you know I love going out to eat!) I could not eat more than a few bites... I felt like throwing up. The sadness juice was getting thicker and thicker. By the time we goto back to my house, I had to run immediately to the bathroom and have a serious crying jag! I cried silently into a towel so my cousins and everyone else wouldn't hear me, but it was pretty intense. In fact, after my cousins left, I had to keep going back to the bathroom for more crying spells. It was a little like having the stomach flu, but instead of puking I was crying... each time, I felt better for a while afterwards, until the feeling started coming back. The trip to the city seemed to have even made things worse, because now I was sad about being home and not being surrounded by my aunt and cousins!

Last night I took some Tylenol PM before bed, and distracted myself by watching a movie on my Kindle until I fell asleep, so I wouldn't be lying awake feeling sad. I really hoped that in the morning I would feel better. But when I woke up, there it was, that sad feeling that won't go away.

So what did I do? Common sense would tell me to call the doctor and get back on my meds as soon as possible. So I did call my doctor's office this morning. I found out that the earliest appointment is on January 28! I asked if I could get a refill of my medications, to last me until then. I was told this wasn't possible, since the doctor had already called in an extra refill for me right before I went to California in September. I guess they don't make money by calling in refills, do they?

If I had a primary physician, I could probably get an appointment with them and ask for an emergency prescription... but I don't, because I don't have health insurance. When I am sick I usually go to urgent care. So my next step was to call the urgent care place and ask them if it would be possible for a doctor there to write me a prescription to last me until my appointment. I was told, no, I would just be given a referall to a psychiatrist... despite the fact that I already have an appointment and just need my meds to last me until January 28!

I went on line and found a service where you can make an appointment with a doctor who will consult with you over the phone and possibly write you a prescription which could be filled at your local pharmacy. This seemed like a good solution to me. I signed up, payed $40 for an appointment, and was told the doctor would call me between noon and two-thirty today. As of right now it is 2:23 and no word from them, so of course this is going to cause a bunch of annoyance for me to try to call them back!

So... no meds for Angel. Things are looking dire. It seems as though medication should be a little easier to get your hands on, don't you think? I think it would be easier, and cheaper, for me to buy some crack, than to access my own prescription medication! 
This view from the Sears Tower was one of the few things that cheered me
up temporarily! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

How Do You Not Be Sad?

I didn't really take many pictures of Squeak
but I filched this one from a bigger picture
Sunny texted to me. My little Squeak... how
did I live without him before? How can I live without
him again?
Hi everyone! How are you? I am glad to say I had a great Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve at my uncle and aunt's house (my mom's brother and his wife) where a good time was had by all. Little Squeak was a big hit! He smiled and laughed and enjoyed attention and hugs from everyone. 

On Christmas Eve, my parents and Bro and Sunny and I stayed up super late and played board games. We played Apples To Apples, which was a game I got from another of my uncles for Christmas. I won by a landslide... for some reason I am awesome at that game! Also we played Yahtzee, which I also won, even though I am not usually that great at it. 

Then on Christmas, we stayed home and hung out in our pajamas all day long. We also played Scattergories, which Bro won, and Beatles Monopoly, which nobody won because it was going on forever and ever and Sunny had to keep getting up to go check on the baby and then we started taking pictures with fake mustaches on and totally forgot about the game and then Bro was reading the rules and found out we were playing it wrong anyways. And I got an ice cream maker for Christmas from my parents, and also a practice drum pad and drum sticks! 

Yesterday, we went back to my Nona's house so Squeak could visit with my grandparents one more time. One of my aunts, two of my little cousins, and my great-aunt also showed up. Again, Squeak stole the show by being happy and chatty and smiley and huggy! 

This morning, they all went back.

I cried all night last night, and all day today. I feel miserable. Everything I look at or do reminds me of little Squeak! I can't stand looking at the living room in the spot where his exersaucer used to be, or at the big box filled with Squeak's presents that we are going to mail out to them to save them from having to carry it on the plane, the spot where his high chair was, or the now-empty bedroom where he and Bro and Sunny slept. Even looking at the Christmas decorations in the living room makes me bawl, because they remind me of how much time we spent in there with Squeak and how he loved looking at the Christmas tree, and how we would spread his blanket out on the carpet and he would roll back and forth. He can't crawl yet, so rolling is his main source of transportation. Even playing with Small Dog makes me sad, because it reminds me of how I was playing with Small Dog the other day while holding Squeak in my arms, because I didn't want Small Dog to be jealous. (The best way to make sure dogs get along with babies is to try to keep giving the dog equal love even when the baby is around, so they don't see the baby as competition. That is my unprofessional opinion.) 

I know it sounds sort of stupid because last time I blogged I was feeling sort of sad and left out and dejected. But the thing is, that was not because of Squeak. Babies never deject people! The only thing that could make me smile when I was sad (other than my dogs of course) was a smile from my little Squeak! 

This brings me to a question. How do you control being sad? What I mean is, like this... I know my mom and dad are just as sad as me about Squeak leaving, since he is their grandson and all... but they haven't spent the day sitting on the floor with their sweatshirt hoods over their faces sobbing. In fact, my mom is the one who put away all of Squeak's stuff and got most of it out of sight. She is returning a lot of stuff they didn't use (like the baby sled we looked everywhere for and finally found at Meijer but never actually got to use because it was so cold out, and the snowsuit my mom searched everywhere for but Squeak never ended up wearing) and we have to return the crib we borrowed, and she is going to sell the exersaucer. And my dad has just been doing Dad stuff like reading or doing whatever it is he does in the basement. I am the only one who has been unfunctional! 

The problem with me is I don't seem to have levels of sadness. When I am sad, my emotions knock me to my knees. Whether I am sad because my cat just died, someone has said something that hurts my feelings, or a visit with someone I love has ended, my heart cracks open like an egg and all my feelings come pouring out. For other people, your cat dying may make you bawl for days on end, but the end of a week-long visit with your family members might just make you feel a little sadness that you can easily move past. How do you do that? How can I learn that? I don't like feeling like this. 

Anyway, I found out how I can post a video on this blog, and I am going to post my first "vlog" either on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, most likely. Or whenever else I get a chance to work on it while my parents aren't home to yell down the stairs, "Who are you talking to?" and mess the whole thing up. I may even make it a regular thing! If you have any questions or topics you'd like me to talk about, let me know. 


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

'Tis The Night Before Christmas!

Hi everyone! I haven't blogged for a few days so I thought I'd stop by to post. I don't want to write a lot today, because of the fact that some of my thoughts right now are too somber to be writing about on the night (or day) before Christmas! So I will focus on the cheerful things...

Bro, Sunny and Squeak have been here since Thursday. We are going in a few hours to my mom's family's Christmas celebration. Some of the people in my family already met Squeak when we brought him over to my Nona's house the other day, but some people will be meeting little Squeak for the first time. It should be a lot of fun! 

I feel like I am always nervous about holiday gatherings beforehand because I don't like being around that many people t once... I get lost in the shuffle. The worst part is when I try to participate in a conversation, and nobody hears me, or at least nobody responds. This happens to me a lot. It is like being a ghost! 

But when it is time to leave I always feel like I had a good time. Even if all I really did is watch everyone else interact. 

Tomorrow is better because just my parents, Sunny and Bro and Squeak and me, will stay at home and spend Christmas together. We don't really do anything. We actually stay in pajamas all day long. It is the best! Sometimes we play Monopoly or Yahtzee. This is actually the first time Sunny and Bro will be with us for Christmas, so I don't know if it will be the same as usual, but I'm hoping it is. (Have I mentioned this is a hard part of it all for me... not knowing what is going to happen? I am excited for them to be here on Christmas, but it is very difficult for me to not know whether everything will be completely different from usual.)

Also, I am planning to do my first video blog post on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. So, does anyone have any questions or things they'd want me to talk about? Let me know in the comments, or email, or use my Ask.fm widget. 

Alright, everyone! Merry Christmas! 

Merry Christmas From Trixie!

Merry Christmas From Lily! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hard For Me Too

The other day I was reading a blog post at Mostly True Stuff, where the mother of a child with autism described how after his anxiety made it too hard for him to stay and watch a movie in the theater even though he'd really been looking forward to it, her little boy broke down crying and said, "The autism. It's hard." I think I even left a comment saying something like, it will get easier when you get older.

But today I feel like saying the same thing. The autism (and depression and anxiety and ADHD and everything else.) It's hard.


last night my Bro and Sunny and baby Squeak got into town. We picked them up at the airport last night, and they'll be here for a week. I guess since I've been anticipating their visit for so long, I've been having kind of a meltdown. 

One of my major sources of anxiety is that Bro can be really critical and say mean things, so when I am around him I am always struggling to be quiet and to avoid doing stupid things that will invite his mockery. When I was visiting them in California he was at work most of the time, and I felt more comfortable around Sunny I guess. Plus there is the issue of my Small Dog Lily.

I have known Lily since she was sprung from her dog mama's womb... but for the first year of her life she belonged not to me but to the family I was living with at the time. They had three small children and it was a really wild house. They believed that their children should be able to do anything to pets, and the pets just needed to learn to deal with it. But Lily was just not meant to live in a household like that. From the very beginning she was the most nervous and high strung one of her litter mates. The children were allowed to drag her around or do whatever with her, and they were not really taught to be careful around animals. One time when I was not home, Lily was inside her crate, chewing on a bone. She was still only about eight months old at the time. According to what I was told later, the youngest child reached into the crate and tried to take the bone away, and Lily growled and nipped at her. So the two parents ran over and both started repeatedly hitting Lily and screaming at her. (The parents told me that they spanked her. But one of the older children later told me the full story that they were both wailing on her and screaming at her together while she was yelping and yelping.) So, needless to say, Lily's introduction to children, and people in general, was not that great. Also, she tends to bark when she hears noises or when people make too sudden of movements. Not always... mostly when it is people she doesn't know well. 

She has met Sunny and Bro before. She really likes Sunny. She has always been freaked out by Bro. He is very tall and has a deep voice and he makes her nervous, so she tends to bark when he stands up too fast or talks too loudly. Bro does not really like my dog. 

But I was really working on this with her. I bought her a Thundershirt and a calming collar and I've been trying to work with her on not barking. And last night she was doing really well. She was barely barking at all... I think she barked once but stopped right away when I corrected her. She was fine with everyone passing Squeak around. She sniffed him and let him touch her fur. (I didn't let her get too close to him, because Squeak is fascinated by both my dogs' long fur and tries to grab it and hang on!) Even when I was holding Squeak on my lap, Lily was sitting right next to me and was fine.

Anyways today I was already on edge with all sorts of anxiety and anticipation of the unknown and what not, but everything was going more or less well. Lily was being good but I was keeping a close eyeball on her. But then Bro was playing with Squeak in the living room and he kneeled down with Squeak in front of him, and for some reason Lily jumped up and growled and ran towards them.

So I picked up Lily and took her to my room, but then I just felt overwhelmed and I ended up staying in my room for the rest of the day and not wanting to leave... I was just having a day where I felt like the world was squeezing the life out of me! And it was mostly caused by Lily's little outburst, which was pretty ironic, because as I lay on my bed bawling quietly into my bedspread, Lily was trying to comfort me by snuggling up to me and licking my eyeballs. 

And then Bro and Sunny took Squeak to the zoo to see the lights. I didn't know this until I eventually went downstairs when my mom got home, and she asked me, "Why didn't you go to the zoo with Bro and Sunny and the baby?" Then I felt sad all over again because I had actually said to my mom that we should take Squeak to the zoo lights while he was here, and she had said something like it would be too cold and Squeak was still too little, and then Bro and Sunny ended up taking him anyways with their friends. 

So I am just having this day where I want to tear my skin off and run out of it and just keep running! And the worst part of it is I know I was overreacting about the Lily thing, and I probably wouldn't have been as upset if Bro hadn't been there at the time. But my anxiety has a mind of its own. And then I was trying to explain to my mom that I was upset and she was pretty much like, "Oh well. There's nothing I can do about it."

But there were two things that made me feel better. One, my Aunt Bee texted me while I was still up in my room because she was asking me how it was going, and I told her I was having a really bad day, and she was texting with me and helping me feel better.

Two, a while ago I sent a package to my Auntie M and Uncle J with some presents, including presents for their dog (who I call Roo in this blog) and their cat (who I call Odie.) So my Auntie M sent me a note on Facebook telling me she got everything, and she sent me pictures of Roo and Odie playing with their toys. She wrote, "You are such a GREAT person and we are honored to call you family. I cannot express what you thoughtfulness means to us!" It cheered me up a lot. Because today I was feeling a lot like my whole family would be better off if I was never born.


I think one of the worse things is feeling lonely when you are feeling bad, because when you are sad other people around you get irritated and don't want your issues to effect them, like my mom saying it isn't her problem. I know they think I am just a negative person and I could (or at least could fake for their sake) being happy and normal. So there is nobody to talk about these things with, other than you if you are reading this blog. So thanks for reading and helping me vent!

Roo playing with the stuffed reindeer I sent. I kept it in my bed a few nights
so it would smell like me. This is the only possible way to send a message
to a dog through the mail! I guess it worked because Auntie M says Roo runs and gets the reindeer
whenever she says my name.
Odie playing with the catnip bird I sent him. I also sent a note asking
him to stop trying to catch real birds in the yard. He says he'll think about it. 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My Review of Excelerol

 Hi everyone! You may remember that I mentioned I was given the opportunity to review Excelerol, which is a supplement designed to help you with memory, concentration, focus and alertness. They sent me a free thirty-day supply, with the request that I write about my experiences with it. 

I want to make sure that, if I review a product, I give you guys a really honest review. And it is actually kind of hard to assess my own attention span, concentration and focus. I don't think that I went through a huge transformation in which I suddenly became a very focused, organized, Type-A person. I mean, that would take a miracle, wouldn't it? 

I definitely did notice that it gave me more energy on the days that I took it. Before I started taking this, when I was working, I frequently was exhausted by the end of the day and didn't have the energy to do anything else... I would come home and collapse on the couch. On the days that I took Excelerol, I still got a little tired, but I would just need a brief rest to regroup, and I'd have enough energy to do other things, such as do my laundry or work on homework. 

I also noticed that my mood improved while I was on it. I don't even know if this is one of the intended effects, but my levels of depression and anxiety have been decreased since I've been taking Excelerol. I have still felt some depression and anxiety, but these feelings have been more fleeting, and less overwhelming. 

Finally, I am not sure how to measure my concentration and focus. ADHD is a strange thing. It is not so much a deficit of attention, but a lack of being able to control what I pay attention to. It is a little like owning a car without a steering wheel. The car is capable of driving where you want it to go, except you lack the one thing that gives you control over the car... so all it can do is randomly drive where it wants to drive. 

However, it is worth noting that, since taking Excelerol, I was able to make some important decisions in my life. I had been having a really hard time completing all of the work for my online classes, and I was able to contact all of my instructors and figure out what I still needed to do and the timeline in which I had to do it. I also decided to quit my job as an aide, and instead apply to become a substitute teacher. I was able to figure out the steps I needed to become a substitute, and get all of that done within a few days. When I had looked into subbing a few months earlier, for some reason the process had seemed very daunting to me... but this time, when I looked into it, it seemed very linear and basic. It is very possible that Excelerol did help my brain focus on one thing at a time, instead of getting overwhelmed by everything at once!
I also seem to have found that, although I still have trouble getting started on tasks that I don't want to do (such as my homework, which is incredibly boring, or putting away laundry or cleaning my room) once I get started at it, I've been able to finish it. Yesterday, for instance, I sorted my sock drawer... no easy undertaking, I tell ya! I got all of my socks matched with their partners, and realized I have way more nice socks than I ever realized I had!

In conclusion, my feeling is that Excelerol did help me with my concentration, focus, and alertness, as well as with my mood. The only bad news is, it is a little out of my price range. It is usually $199.95 for 90 capsules, which would be about a 3 month supply if you were taking one a day. (They last for six hours, though, so some people opt to take two or three a day.) Right now they have a deal going for $99.90 for 90 capsules.  
For a person who is off of my regular medication because I couldn't afford the doctor visits and monthly prescriptions, this is kind of a high price. I think what I am going to do is finish off the supply they've given me, and then see what happens. If I feel like my focus and energy declines a whole lot, then I will think about signing up for a regular "subscription!" 

If anyone else has ever tried Excelerol, I'd love to hear your comments about how it worked for you! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hey, We Have Some WInners!

Here's me bringing you a gift. How come I never have a face
in these pictures?
Good morning, everyone, and time for a healthy breakfast! (Mine was chocolate milk.) So, I've randomly picked three winners, using the Primary Technology Random Name Selector tool. I entered the names of everyone who commented here since December 1. If you commented multiple times, your name was listed multiple times. And this is who I came up with!

Richard (coincidentally, the puppy dad of my Small Dog's sister!) 


Michelle Liew, who writes at various places according to her Google Plus page


Bethany, who writes at Piercing The Bubble


So now I am going to go contact all these people, and find out where to send their gifts! 


This was fun, wasn't it? I really wish I could send something to every one of you who reads this blog. In fact, I really have to hold myself back from getting overly ambitious about things like that! Maybe we could do something like this again... maybe at Valentine's Day? What do you think? 


Okay. The rest of my day will be spent doing laundry and homework, so think of me while you are leading your very exciting lives outside the blogosphere. You guys rock!



Sunday, December 15, 2013

My House Is A Barrel Of Monkeys

This is supposed to be a lonely person I guess. Or maybe he
just feels upset because he has no facial features. Or hair. Or clothes.
Or fingers.
 Sometimes my house is a nice place to live in. For instance, there are certain days when my mom and I get along really well. A few times in the past week we have gone out shopping for Christmas presents together, and had a pretty good time.  (Although the bad thing is, if my mom says, "Do you want to go to Target with me really quick?" what she really means is, "Do you want to go to Target, Dollar Tree, Kohl's, TJ Maxx's, Aunt Debbie's house, and another Target in a different town, with me, and it will take no less than four hours, and we will not be stopping for any food or drink?" I usually fall for it anyways, because I like to get out of the house once in a while.) Or when my dad and I go out to dinner together and joke around together, or when he does really weird things, like some of you may have seen in a Facebook video I posted. (I was trying to make a video of myself reading a story to Squeak. I knew my dad had come home, and I warned him, "Be quiet, I'm trying to make a video." I realized he was standing in the room as I did it, so I felt a little awkward. But I didn't realize, until I watched the video, that he was ducking down, sneaking behind the couch, and then peeking up over my shoulder, adding creepiness to the video!) 

In times like those, I start worrying about what it will be like when I move out west. I will be mostly alone. I won't be able to go on a spontaneous shopping spree with my mom, or watch a Family Guy episode with my dad and crack up about it. Auntie M, Uncle J, Bro, Sunny, Squeak, and my cousin B will be somewhat near by, but probably by hours, not minutes. I start worrying that I will feel lonely or scared living alone. 

Then there are other times, like when my mom is complaining about how she is the only one who ever does anything at all around the house and that everyone else sucks, and my dad goes out to the local pub to drown his sorrows or whatever it is he does there, and then they're not speaking to each other and my mom is crabby with everyone and I become a moving target because my room is messy or something... on days like that, I just think, it is doing me no good to be here. I can't keep living like a sad 12-year-old from a dysfunctional home. I have to go find my own life!

Most of the time, though, things are more like right now. My mom is out with her friends, and my dad is up at the bar, and I am here alone using my computer and freaking out every time the dogs bark, especially when a little while ago I could have sworn I heard someone jiggling the back door knob, which could have been a burglar and could have been just that my dad was shoveling the snow for a while and then locked the door before he left, or could have been that I am completely insane, because it does run in the family, doesn't it, and wow this is a run on sentence! My point is, most of the time I am just here, alone, existing. When I am not feeling sad about leaving my parents so far behind, or excited to get as far from them as I can, I am feeling like, "What if I move all the way there, and it is just this, just me and my Small Dog, by ourselves, with the computer, all the time? And what if someone breaks in and kills me? Small Dog is a great watch dog for when people are near by, but if they actually manage to get in, she is not much help. I may need a pitbull. More (or I guess probably less) importantly, I hope I make some friends wherever I end up."

What a glum post! On that happy note, remember to leave your comments, because this is the last day to enter my homemade gift giveaway! Tomorrow morning I will be drawing three names to send a gift to. Maybe one of them will be you! 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

How On Earth Did You Find Me?

 I've been noticing a few new comments, a few new followers, and a trickle of other evidence pointing to the fact that people are reading this blog... people who come here for other reasons than because I told them, "Read my blog or I'll punch you!" I check my Google Analytics from time to time to see which search words people use to get here... and they're usually pretty mundane. But today I realized, I've only been looking at the TOP TEN most popular search queries! When I asked it to show me all of the words people have used to get to my blog, things got a little more exciting.

There were 1,537 different queries used to find my blog. And some of them are kind of weird. Here are the ones I found the most interesting! 

What you know about rocking a wolf on your noggin?
Wipe  butt
Peeing a lot lately
My cousin wants to sleep with me
Your boring
Your asses are very collegey
My mom thinks I'm lazy
If you were home alone and heard a fart
Say it to my face bro I deer you
To say nothing of the dog
Lick my shoe
Suspicious smurf
My hot ass neighbor
How the fuck does she fold towels
Tigger has ADHD
Mama wanna drink
The first cordless phone was made by God
I have a boggle trophy on my bedroom shelf
Screaming octopus
How to make ferret clothes
Thug girlfriends
Never trust anyone even the devil was once an angel
So let me give your heart a break
Dog farting rainbows
Bitch don't kill my tribe
The story of 15 beautiful girls adrift
The job that ate my brain
You make it so easy to fall so hard
Wrap gagged
What time are you leaving
That awkward moment when you get in the van and there's no candy
Unmade bed
Why does my dog lick me a lot
Simmer down
Big sister farts on bro and makes him lick feet
Grab bulge
Sign in blood
Red tape long shoes

Strangely, some of them seem to be in Chinese or something.I used the handy-dandy Google Translate site to discover that several of these queries were in Persian, and they were searching for "general play," "sad smiley," and "fur fabric."  Someone searched for "zoo" and "eye love letter" in Arabic. Another searched for "real pictures of aliens" in Turkish. Someone searched for "Amazing hot" in Javanese. (I've never even heard of Javanese!)

And, although I saw that many people have come here looking for information on ADHD, Aspergers, autism and depression... the top query for my blog, giving me a whopping 1,300 impressions, was "Swingset."

Weird!

By the way, tomorrow is December 15, the last day to enter my homemade gift giveaway! (Scroll to the end of this post to read about it if you don't remember.)  On Monday morning I'll be drawing three names that I'll send a homemade gift to! To enter, all you have to do is comment! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I Got Mail!

Hi everyone! This year I thought it would be fun to sign up for a few holiday swaps, where you send someone some surprise gifts, and you get something from them as well!  I signed up for the 12 Days Of Christmas swap, and the Blogger Holiday Gift Exchange

So, yesterday, my first package came from Becca, from Everyday Life, who is my partner in the 12 Days Of Christmas swap. The way this particular swap works is, you get 12 gifts, and you have to wait until December 13. Then, you can open one per day, until Christmas. 

I couldn't resist at least opening the box!

I am so not good at waiting for surprises! I may have to hide the box from myself in order to not be tempted! 

In other news, since I quit my job but have a few days before I start subbing (or I may just weight until after winter break, so I can have next Thursday and Friday off when Bro, Sunny and Squeak get here) I've been working on writing my autobiography! It is going to be called, predictably, Diary Of An Alien! 

I  had this idea that if I make myself accountable to others, I will be more likely to finish this time. (I've started writing my memoir so many times, its not even funny!) So I wondered if anyone would be interested in reading part of the draft.. anything from a few pages to a few chapters, whatever you can handle. As I write more, I can send people more.if they like. Hopefully, you beta readers will be able to give me feedback, like what parts are super boring, what parts need more information, etc. 

If you feel like reading some of my book, comment here, or email me at angel_the_alien@aol.com

Alright... I am FREEZING COLD in this house, so I need to go find another sweatshirt, or six or seven! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mix Tape Tuesday

OMG dudes. I am in rare form today! My nerves are all twisted and bent and crazy like a maze! Yet I am still stumbling in here to do this week's Mix Tape Tuesday!

I've been mentioning for a few days now about my general job dissatisfaction and how I was having trouble forcing myself to go to work. I was considering looking for a new job as a day care teacher, but then realized that might not be possible because of the fact that my ECE credits are in quarter hours, not semester hours. I was sinking into a state of despair.

But then I stumbled upon an idea... substitute teaching! I decided to sign up in the district where I did my student teaching. I can make $100 a day, plus take days off when I need them! (For instance, when I continue taking my classes, this time I will actually have time to do the observations... I can just take a morning off when I need to! And if I get oerwhelmed with homework, I can take a day off to catch up!)

Once I realized that, and got my paperwork all ready and signed up for subbing, it was impossible to make myself go to work.

I tried. I got up this morning, got dressed, packed a lunch, ate breakfast, etc... but I just couldn't go. I found myself nearly having a panic attackat the thought of going in one more day.

I don't know why. There was nothing really to dislike about the job itself. Maybe it is a med issue. Maybe if I was on my meds, I would have been able to stick with it. I don't know.

All I know is, I didn't go to work today. I am here, instead, feeling really nervous and guilty and shady. And I'm telling you this, my bloggy friends, because I will never admit it to anyone else.

Hopefully I can begin subbing later this week, or next week, and make a few hundred bucks before winter break starts. It will be a good way to save up money for my move. But I still feel terrible about "playing hooky" for the rest of this week!

And now, without further ado, some songs about this week's theme... addiction!

The first one I thought of is "Laid," by James. A lovely song about codependence, if there ever was one!




Then, of course, there is Amy Winehouse. They tried to make her go to rehab, but she said No, no, no!




What about the Pied Piper? You know you would follow him anywhere!



Or, my favorite song that I like to dedicate to my friend Erick... The Mighty Quinn! When Quinn the Eskimo gets here, everybody's gonna run to him!



I'm not sure if this last song is about addiction, but it is the closing song for the movie "Spun," which is about people who are addicted to meth, and so that's what it reminds me of. Plus it is one of my favorite songs. And they do say "We're all rewinding to get high" right in the song, so...

PS... I just saw the website and realized I must have read it wrong last night. The theme is not about addiction to substances, but addiction to LOVE! Oh well. These songs are metaphorical then, okay? This is the  kind of day in which I end up doing everything just a little backwards.


Play along at JenKehl.com if you want!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Them Is Fightin' Words!

My dad is not this dude. 
 So, remember about five minutes ago yesterday I was deliberating on whether I should take the Early Childhood Education credits I've gotten from my recent online classes, and try to get a job as a day care teacher? It turns out that may not be possible. The school I am now taking classes through uses quarters, not semesters. Therefore, my credit hours are only worth half of what I thought they were worth. 

i know this part is very confusing to everyone on earth, including me, so I am going to make an attempt to explain something here that I think is pretty stupid. 

My teaching certificate is a LBS1, which means I am licensed to teach children in special education who are ages 3 to 21. But in reality, it only allows me to teach K through 5. You need extra letters of approval (read: More college credits and tests) to teach pre-school, middle school, or high school. Somehow I never knew this until after I completed half of my student teaching in an early childhood classroom, My professor told me, "You're really good with this age group and this may be something you want to pursue. But you can't do it... your 3 to 21 license is only good for K-5." Huh? 

To teach preschool in a public school, I need 4 specific extra classes that are Early Childhood Education classes. 

To be a teacher in a day care center, my teacher's certificate means diddly-squat, but you can be a lead teacher if you have at least 60 college credit hours including 6 Early Childhood Education credits. So a person with a Bachelors or even a Masters in education would not be as qualified as a person in their second year of Early Childhood Ed classes at the community college.

So anyways, last night I was trying to explain to my dad that I probably cannot get another job after all, because of my weird credit hours. He didn't understand it and kept questioning why, if I had gone to school for four years, I could not get a teaching job of any sort, and why, after having that four years of schooling, I could specifically not qualify for a job in a preschool program or even a day care center. I kept trying to explain the concept to him. 

Finally, he said, "You may need to find another line of work."

"What other line of work?" I demanded. "There is no other line of work for a teaching degree!"

My dad said, "I'm talking about Target or something."

I replied, "I don't want to work at Target! I want to be a teacher!"

My dad: "Well, I wanted to be a shortstop for the White Sox, but that doesn't mean it was something I'd ever be able to do."

Me: (Getting dangerously close to a meltdown): "That's not even close to the same thing. You didn't go to school to be a baseball player. You didn't do anything to work towards being a baseball player. I went through school to be a teacher." 

Dad: "But obviously you're still not qualified to be one, so..."

Me: "You're mean! Even Mom wouldn't say that!" 

Dad: "But she would think it." 

At that point I took my Small Dog and stormed out of the house. But then I stormed back in five minutes later. It is difficult to storm out when you live in the same house as someone and it is ten degrees outside and you don't want your Small Dog to freeze. So I just took my Small Dog and went to bed, fuming mad and furious and upset and very sad. 

To his credit (or discredit) he may have been drunk at the time... he had just come home from the friendly neighborhood bar where everybody knows his name and they're always glad he came. But, still. To compare my wanting to be a teacher, with his wanting to be a White Sox player? WTF?

(And then there's that tiny voice in my brain saying of course he's probably right. Many of the people I was in classes with in college had no trouble finding college jobs. They had confidence. They had poise. They were neat and organized and mature. They weren't a walking, talking tornado, which is what I am. But I digress...)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Be My Advisor!

 Okay, everyone, I need some advice. 

I'm sure some people think I'm a total Negative Nelly (is that a thing???) because I always have something to complain about! I don't think I complain about everything... but I am also not always good at putting a positive spin on things... so if that irritates you, sorry!

Anyways.  The thing I have been complaining about the most lately is my job. As some of you know, I got a job as a special education aide for a first and second grade class. And in theory, the job is awesome! I absolutely love the kids. Love them, dude. And the staff members are way nicer and more patient than where I worked last year. 

But the thing is, as of late I've started feeling like this job isn't much better than the last one, in many ways. I like to be challenged, whereas I feel like at this job my whole life consists of doing what I am told to do... not only by the teacher, which I don't really mind, but by all of the other aides as well because they've been there longer. I am not doing any sort of teaching at all. I kind of wrote about that here so you could go read it if you want. It's kind of like a really long babysitting job each day. 

The annoying thing about me is that, when I start feeling like this about a job, I start getting sad and nervous all the time about leaving. For instance, today is Friday, and I already feel like throwing up or crying or hiding under the bed every time I think about reporting to work on Monday. Even though there is nothing really bad about it. It is an easy job, a very easy job, although sometimes physically tiring because of all the lifting of kids and wiping of butts and what have you. I have weekends off, all government holidays off (unpaid though) and weeks off for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring break. I am home each day by four. I am sure a lot of people would be desperate for a job like mine, even for only $11/hour with no benefits. So I am dumb to complain, right? I should count my blessings, right? I don't know why I am starting to be so sad about it. 

Here's the thing I need advice about.

When I finish my online classes in a week or two, I will still not be qualified to teach early childhood in a school (I need a few more classes to get that approval) but I will have enough to be the lead teacher in a child care center or Head Start program. 

So... here's the hypothetical situation. Let's say I just happen to start browsing around early childhood education jobs. And let's say I found the opportunity to be a teacher in a day care or Head Start program. And let's say the pay was a little higher, and there was insurance. (Most day cares do offer pretty good insurance to all full time employees.) 

Would it be right for me to even start looking for another job? Would this be like looking a gift horse in the mouth?

I feel like being a teacher, even in a day care center, would be helping me move forward. Even though it wouldn't necessarily be specifically with kids with special needs, statistically speaking there are at-risk kids and kids with special needs in every group. And I'd be teaching.

Plus the pay and insurance, of course. 

But... 

If I were to find, and take, a job like that, I'd have to walk out on my current job, which I feel would be rude. And, if I manage to arrange to move to Oregon, I'd also be leaving the new job eventually. 

Give me some advice, Internet! As always, I want to hear what you really think! I can't promise I'd take your advice, but I do want to hear your point of view. It will seriously contribute to my decision. 

Should I start looking for a  better job? Or stick it out at this one? 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

So THIS Makes Me Look A Little Better!

Does this look like your Mom or Dad?
I stress out a lot about where my life has ended up... living out of my brother's childhood bedroom at my parents' house, being unable to get a teaching job, and needing help with lots of stuff. Although I know a lot of it is due to having some special needs issues, I still feel very guilty and worthless a lot of the time... I've watched my younger brother and younger cousins pass me up in life, while I stayed stuck to the ground like in one of those bad dreams where something is chasing you and you try to run but your legs suddenly don't work or will only work in slow motion. Its like swimming upstream in molasses. 

But...

Maybe I shouldn't feel too bad after all! While I was logging into my email, I came across this article about how members of the "millenial generation" (those born in the 1980's and 1990's) are unable to cope with life. They find themselves unable to cope with things like college assignments and doing their own laundry, without their parents' supervision and input. The article puts a lot of the blame on helicopter parenting. Many kids in my generation and younger grew up with parents who, quite literally, wanted the best for them. So they chaperoned playdates and orchestrated study schedules and organized tutoring and piano lessons and karate lessons and stayed in constant touch with teachers, some continuing this careful 24/7 parenting even after kids started college. And so, according to the article, the kids became adults who expected perfection from themselves, and felt like they couldn't operate as adults if they weren't achieving up to their parents' standards. They can't make their own decisions because they were always given explicit instructions on what to do.

In fact, the article says that some young adults actually bring their parents to job interviews, have their parents sit in with them, and want job offers presented to their parents as well as themselves, so that their parents can review them and decide whether the job is right for their child. Some employers actually cater to this by offering to send positive performance reports home to their employees' parents! 

So... yeah... maybe I am not so bad after all. I think my mom sort of tried to helicopter parent me, or at least create the appearance of doing so... but unlike many in my generation, I didn't ever experience having to expect perfection from myself. Getting poor grades in school, being bullied, and getting in trouble left and right, taught me instead to be happy with survival. And I did learn how to survive. 

I am lucky that my parents allowed me and my Small Dog to move in with them again after the last living situation I had went horribly awry. I am lucky that they allowed me to camp out in my brother's old room, even after my graduation from college did not yield the teaching job and subsequent income and independence I promised them it would. (Sorry Mom and Dad, but although I graduated college, I'm still only worthy of an $11/hour job!) But if they kicked me out right now, I would survive. I definitely couldn't afford a place to live on $11/hour, and maybe I'd be homeless, but that in itself wouldn't drive me to the depression and anxiety that the people in the article deal with. 

There have been times in my life where I was sleeping in my car, waking up and going to work two hours early, using the washroom at work to get as clean as I could, going into the classroom and getting extra stuff done for an hour before even the teacher showed up, and then staying as late as I could and getting even more work done. My co-workers thought I was a super dedicated employee. In reality, I just had no where to go! There's photos of me at that job where I was skinny as a bone because I would go days without eating much more than crackers and mayonnaise, yet I still had the energy to deal with the tantrums of a 6-year-old with autism all day long. I survived. The depression I deal with now and for most of my life is more of a brain chemical issue, not something that would go away if only i had a better job. 

Another thing is, the people in the article are always hoping for more. They want to be top level executives, because they were raised to think of themselves as top level people. Not me! My wishes are simple. I want a place to live. A little cottage or cabin would be perfect. I'd like to be able to buy my own dishes... I want the different colored ones I see in Dollar Tree sometimes, or maybe a hodgepodge of random thrift shop and garage sale dishes. I want to be near my family and loved ones as much as possible. And I want to make a difference in the world. I want to become a teacher... but I am not looking to advance to principal, and then district superintendent, and then secretary of the department of education, and then so on and so on. 

When I get really down on myself, it is because I am comparing myself to my brother and my cousins. Several of my cousins (not including the ones who are under the age of eleven) have masters degrees, and all of them live on their own. My brother already has a house and a family. I am the only one stuck at home with shoes made out of rubber cement. But according to the article I read, 30 is actually the new 18. And so... apparently, I am actually ahead of the game! There, that is something to smile about, isn't it!?!!?! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Things That Are Good Vs Things That Suck

I didn't have a picture for today's post, so here is an
adorable picture of a baby koala! 
 Hi everyone! It is December now, and while some things are going really well, other things are completely sucking. What do you want first? The sucky stuff or the good stuff? How about we get the sucky stuff over first?

Stuff That Sucks
1. I am doing poorly in my online classes and may not even pass them. The main reason is that I haven't been able to do the observation hours, since I am working at all the same times that the children I should be observing are in school. We are not allowed to do observation hours at the same time as we're getting paid for work, so I cannot take the easy route and just do them during my workday. I may actually end up repeating one of the classes next semester! Sucky!

2. When I first got hired for my job, I was supposed to go get a background check from the police station, plus a physical exam and TB test, within a month. Of course I was waiting until I got paid before I went to get the physical exam, and I was just procrastinating at the background check thing because I have no real desire to go to the police station for any reason. Those places give me the willies! I was going to do it though... but then I got sick for a week, and after that, I just completely forgot about the whole thing! So now they have started sending me emails saying, "We need all this info RIGHT NOW!" Even if I get it done by the end of the week, I'm going to look like a flake! 

3. My job is okay... mediocre. Better than last year, because the people are nicer, but definitely not challenging at all. My job is pretty much to do as I'm told. It gets really boring. I mean, how many days in a row can you spend an hour doing the same exact ABC puzzles during reading groups? This is pretty much all I do... work on ABC puzzles with the kids, take them to the bathroom, take them to lunch, take them to recess, take them to gym and art and music, etc. Its all cajoling them into eating, helping them get their jackets on, ushering them in and out of lines. It is tiring, because it is physically a lot of walking around and pulling kids and lifting them and pushing wheelchairs... but it leaves a lot to be desired. 

OK. So that stuff sucks. On to the good stuff!

1. I only have one more Christmas gift to get or make... for my dad! Everyone else is completely covered. 

2. Bro, Sunny and Squeak get here in less than three weeks!

3. I just heard from my book editor and she is putting out a press release about my book, and wants to interview me for the publishing company's podcast. Plus, she just asked if she can set me up with an app on my phone that would allow me to accept debit and credit cards on my phone so I could sell books from anywhere. And she's sending me a free copy of the book, which she said is my "show-off" copy to take with me on interviews and readings. INTERVIEWS and READINGS! Like a real author! 

4. Now that I have a children's book published under my legal name, that I can show my grandparents and little cousins and everyone, I have started working on my memoir. It will be the true story of the odd adventures in my life. This one will most likely be self-published under my Alien name. The title of the book? Diary Of An Alien, of course! 

5. The company that makes Excelerol, which is a vitamin supplement designed to help with the symptoms of ADHD, have sent me a free thirty-day supply in exchange for a review on my blog. I started taking it today. One thing I noticed for sure was that it gave me more energy... I wasn't completely fatigued when I got home. I want to give an honest review of the product, but I'm not completely sure how to tell if it is working! I will have to figure out some sort of test.

Anyways... 3 sucky things versus 5 good things... I guess the good things win, this time! Hurray! 





Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Tuesday Mix Tape!

This week's Mix Tape Tuesday is all about Christmas music! It is hard to pick just five Christmas songs I love, but I'm going to try! Sorry if this is a quick post today... I  didn't get much sleep tonight, so I'm planning to go to bed super, super early. (Right now it is Monday night, although I will publish this post on Tuesday morning before I go to work!)

My favorite Christmas songs...

1. Jiggedy-jigg, hee-haw-hee-haw!


2. Does your granny always tell ya that the old songs are the best?
Then she's up and rock 'n' rollin' with the rest?.

3. I always loved this song when I was little.. it's like a story!


4. Last year at this time, I was in Hawaii with my parents and Sunny and Bro! (Squeak was there too, but he was in Sunny's belly!) This song was playing everywhere we went. My dad also had the record when I was a little kid, so we grew up knowing this one!


5. And finally, how can anyone not love this one?


Wow, I feel a lot better already! 

Remember, when you comment, you'll automatically be entered for my Christmas homemade gift giveaway! 


Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's Beginning To Look A Little Like Christmas!

Hi everyone! Today is, for those of you who aren't near a calendar of some sort, December 1. At my house, we already decorated our tree! My mom is going to be out of town next weekend, so our choices were to either decorated it this weekend, or wait until two weekends from now and only have it up for one week before Christmas. So here it is!

One thing was making me kind of sad... This is my first Christmas without my kitty cat, Sammy-Joe. He died in February of cancer, at the age of almost 13. I still feel so sad whenever I think about him, or when I read posts about the cute and funny things other people's cats do.  

Sammy-Joe really loved boxes, like most cats do. Any time there was a cardboard box around, he naturally assumed it was for him!  This included the box that contains our fake Christmas tree. Whenever we pulled it out of storage, he'd get so excited and start running around it!


One time my dad and I were just sitting in the basement. We had just put the tree up, and the empty box was in the basement. We thought we heard some rustling over there, and we turned to look. But at first, all we saw was a normal box...


And we were like, "Uh-oh, maybe there's a mouse or something in there!


But then we saw this...


When he saw us watching, he ducked back down. But he kept popping up again every few minutes to spy on us! 


Finally I got a little worried that he was actually stuck in there, so I went and opened the lid for him. And he was like, "Fix it! Fix it now!"


I think I took those pics in December of 2011. By December of last year, he was still checking out the boxes, but he was a lot weaker and not as playful. 


Another thing is, we used to have to worry about putting certain ornaments too low on the tree, because he was always trying to chew on them, or steal them. There were these little plastic heart shaped ornaments he always managed to get his paws on, and we'd find them later in his bed or his toy box!

Sammy lurking menacingly behind the tree
He really loved Christmas... if for no other reason than because we finally answered his wish and put a tree right in the middle of the house!

I miss him so much. 





Anyways...


Wow that was a cheerful Christmas post! 


What I meant to write about is that I was trying to think of a way to do something fun on this blog for Christmas. So I decided I am going to have a giveaway! Three random people will win a homemade mystery present from me! 


All you have to do to enter is comment. Between now and December 15, any comment you make on this blog will count as one entry. On December 16, I will toss all the entries into a random hat, and pull out three winners! You'll have to email me with an address where your magical mystery prize can be sent. 


I was thinking of doing what most bloggers do for giveaways and have you get extra entries for following me on Facebook or Twitter or Google Plus or sharing or whatever... but because this is sort of supposed to be a gift from me to you, I didn't want you guys to have to work too hard for it. So you just have to comment. 


OK... that's it... my dad just went to pick up Portillos for dinner (I'm having chopped salad and a chocolate cake shake) so I am going to say goodbye, for now. Keep coming back!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Hi everyone! Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo, so when I push "Publish" I will have officially completed the challenge! 

We didn't do much at all today. I worked some more on all my craft projects that I have happening. We also got to talk to Sunny and Squeak on Skype. It made me miss him a lot, and that made me sad, because being on Skype is not the same as really being there. But it is fun to watch him play and laugh and stuff! He is getting really big! He will be just about bursting out of the snowsuits we got him!

Also we decorated the house for Christmas. My job is usually to put up the manger... this is the one thing I am trusted with, because my mom, of course, likes everything to be "just so." She started letting my brother and I do the manger when we were little because we wanted to do something to help. We also used to have our own little Christmas tree upstairs by our room. 

My mom's manger was passed down in her family for several generations, and started out in Italy with her relatives. We don't have all the original pieces, because a lot have broken over the years. We've also added a lot of random pieces that don't really belong. 

Sometimes when I do the manger, I like to make it a little goofy and see if anyone notices. I know, I crack myself up, don't I? Here is a picture of our manger. Can you spot anything a little "off" about this scene?
Was this what the original event looked like?

Tomorrow is December 1 and I will be making a fun announcement, so stay tuned.

For now, I am going to go see what I can find for dinner! I already ate the rest of the baked macaroni and cheese, but word on the street is there are some mashed potatoes hidden somewhere in the fridge. 

Goodbye, Nablopomo! See you next year! 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Black Friday?

i wish life was more like the FUN kind of rollercoaster!
Hi everyone! I hope you all had great Thanksgiving celebrations! Mine was okay. My family is a little odd because all of the ages of my cousins and I are spread out... there is me and my brother, and then two cousins who are in their 20's, and then the other cousins are ages 11, 9, 8, and 4. I am in an awkward place in my family because I am the only cousin over the age of 18 who still lives in the state of Illinois, let alone stays in their childhood home with their two parents. So a lot of the time at family gatherings, I get grouped as one of the children... not like I am a small child, but more like as if I were a teenaged cousin. I'm always kind of expected to stay down in the basement and supervise all the children while they play. 

I totally don't mind spending some time with them. In fact, I usually organize some sort of craft or activity for them when the family gathering is at my house. They are all very sweet little kids. But I don't get to spend any time at all with any of the adults in my family, unless some of them come down to check on us. 

I kind of want to stand up for myself and say that I will do a craft or activity with the kids but then I am going to go be with the adults. But then I would look like a total asshole for not wanting to hang out with my cousins. And I do want to hang out with them... but not exclusively, not as if my place in the family always has to be as a babysitter for the little kid!

Except of course for Squeak. When Squeak is here I will want to watch him all day long! 


Maybe I'm just moody, anyway. I've been a rollercoaster. Simple things make me happy or sad. I get so happy about little things like baked macaroni and cheese, blog comments, and learning Spanish. I was happy this morning because I was texting Auntie M, but then I got sad and homesick when I started thinking about how I wont see her or Uncle J for a really long time still. Happy... then sad... then happy... then sad... I annoy my own self! 

Anyways... so today my mom and I got up early and did the Black Friday thing. My mom wanted to look for more things for Squeak She keeps looking for a snowsuit for him. We already have two different snowsuits for him but she keeps wanting a different kind or a different size or something. While she was lamenting about the snowsuits at Carsons, I wandered into the toy section, where I found a huge sale! It took me about five minutes flat to find the perfect gifts for all four of my little cousins and Squeak! I even wrapped them already! I am totally on top of things.

I spent the rest of the day doing arts and crafts because I am making a lot of gifts. I got store-bought things for the little kids because it is harder to make toys and stuff that kids would like... but I am making stuff for a lot of the grown ups. But not my mom. She wants ear buds.

I really wish I could show you all the stuff I have been making! When it works out well, I get so excited and start jumping up and down and spinning like crazy, which you would probably think is weird if you saw me, but in my house nobody even notices anymore! I was jumping up and down for like twenty minutes today when I finished one of the presents for my brother! I even start thinking, maybe I should start an Etsy shop and make some money... but then when I look on Etsy, I see everything there is made so carefully and professionally. My arts and crafts projects are like me... quirky, colorful, and not perfect! 


I wish I could show you everything I made so far. I can't show you, because certain people (like Sunny) peruse this blog sometimes, and they'd see what they're getting. But I am taking pictures, and after Christmas I will post the things I made... and maybe even write up some tutorials so people can make their own. 

Also... I already mentioned this on Facebook I think, but the children's book I wrote goes into print tomorrow, and you can actually already order it today from the website! I don't want to link to it here because it is published under my secret identity... but because I trust my readers, if you are interested, message me or comment here and I will personally send you the link to my top-secret website. 

OK I am going to end this blog entry now and go back to my arts and crafts making!

By the way, tomorrow is the last day of NaBloPoMo. And I successfully completed every single day! What do I get? A million dollars?